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About a Little Mole Who Wants to Know Who It Was that Pooped on its Head. (Seriously.)

The funniest thing we discovered in Amsterdam was definitely this classic children’s book. The title? “About a Little Mole Who Wants to Know Who It Was that Pooped on its Head.” Look inside…
Written by a German author, the book tells the story of a mole who wakes up to discover poop on this head. Furious, the mole sets out to discover who did it…
He approaches various animals–birds, cows, rabbits, horses, pigs–and asks them if they pooped on his head. To prove their innocence, the animals poop so that the mole will see that their poop looks different! (!!!)
Finally, he comes across a dog and realizes he has found his culprit.
To get his revenge, the mole (you guessed it) poops on the dog’s head.

That’s it! How hilarious/awesome is that? I LOVE that it’s a classic. We of course brought a copy home for Toby, who doesn’t understand it right now, but it will no doubt be his favorite book once he wises up.

Have you ever heard of it? Did you read it when you were little? You can find it in English here. It’s officially my new go-to birthday present for little dudes:)

(Photos by Laura Ratliff for Cup of Jo. Thanks, Laura and Ryan!)

  1. Deborah says...

    I have a copy of this book in Korean. It’s a classic!

  2. We randomly bought this book in the UK, where it is titled “The Little Mole Who Knew It Was None of His Business.” My then 18 mo old daughter instantly fell in love with it. She was a little confused by all the euphemisms for poop. “Mommy, those are apples?” It’s a favorite in our house. Love the illustrations!
    http://mamamgeni.wordpress.com/

  3. I found the original German version in what looks to be a smaller format than this in I don’t even remember what bookstore here in the states, I think maybe Borders (RIP)? They used to have a nice German books section and I also got a “Calvin und Hobbes” on the same trip, I believe. Anyway, it’s perfect for my elementary understanding of German from having studied it for exactly one semester in college over ten years ago.

    My favorite thing, I think, is how in many languages, the title does not even mention the word “poop.” The American title seems to be “The Story of the Little Mole Who Went in Search of Whodunit” and in German I believe it translates to “The Little Mole Who Wanted to Know Who Made This on His Head” if I am remembering the title correctly.

  4. The pop-up version is especially brilliant if you can find it, not sure if it’s being made any more.

  5. WAH! I have this book as well…

    It happens to be in German, due to the fact that I used it for teaching during college classes, but I can’t wait to use my little collection of these kids books to read to my baby on the way. I just may have to purchase it in English!

    xoxo
    -Pia

  6. Love this book ;) I still have it, of course in German, and it remembers me when I was child, how often we have laughed :) THX
    Greetings from Dubai!

  7. Awesome!

    My friend Bo just told me it was a fab book from her childhood. She lives in Amsterdam :)

    Please post some more about Amsterdam, I would really love to read a bit more about it X

  8. this book is pretty popular here in europe. in my generation nearly every household with kids owned that. It is really funny to read and as kids we really loved the poor mole. We still love him today. I also think that Toby will love it.

  9. Karin says...

    This is a favourite in our house. We borrowed it from the library and loved it so much we bought a copy (in English). We sometimes re-enact it – using softtoys and cushions etc for the poo – e.g. Dad plays the mole and my sons play the various animals. And I’m the narrator. Always a hit. :)

  10. Anonymous says...

    Hi, we are from Germany and my two children loved this book. I had to read it to my son when he was four almost every evening. Right now its my daughters favorite book. Here in Germany you can get childrens prints of the pictures in the book and we have one in the childres bathroom. A lot of our guests remember to read this lovely book. Thanks for your wonderful blogg, you have a lot of fans here in Germany :-)

  11. I am from the Netherlands and loved the book when I was a little girl! :) Especially the goat and the sound the poop should make, like a quick marching band: rak-tak-tak.

    Well as far as I can remember there was a goat in the book as well. But since I’m 27 now… It’s been a while I read the book ;)

    Love,
    Nancy

  12. Anonymous says...

    when my son was two years old, he loved this book so much that he asked all the people he saw, if they pooped on his head.

    My favorite picture in the book is the hare. I think his face just great!

  13. I used to read it to my preschool classes when I was teaching. Fun! The kids just thought it was the funniest that the teacher would read a book about poo!!

  14. We just got this book in Japanese when we were visiting Kyoto! It’s so funny and made it to my little Roo’s favorite book on her shelf!!! I couldn’t help to comment because just like 10 minutes ago… she brought the book out and pretended to go to bathroom. It’s the time for potty training!

    xoxo
    -wakako

  15. We have this as a plop-up book in english, though we are from Germany, where that book originally comes from. There was a special offer on that english plop-up version, so we bought it. it’s the babygirl’s favorite book, besides an incredible pop-up book of Narnia, where the lion jumps out of the first page – right into your face :D
    yo’ll have a lot of fun time with the little mole
    http://www.amazon.com/Story-Little-Mole-Knew-Business/dp/1843650959/ref=pd_sim_b_3

  16. we have this book and our little girl LOVES it…laughs so much! It was actually her american uncle that bought it for her, he read it as a child….so Im assuming you guys have it in the States.

    Brilliant little book, although, I do get funny looks from family who dont think its appropriate! I think its a great way to teach something so normal as pooping!

    xo

  17. Last year while living abroad in Korea and found this book (in Korean)!! I gave it to my niece and nephew as presents. No matter what language this book is in, the pictures say it all. I love it!!

  18. My daughter Kate is 18 months and LOVES this book. Happy to see you had a great time visiting Amsterdam!

  19. This is so funny! I can’t stop laughing after reading the whole post! hahaha! :)

    Now, I have an idea what would be my b-day gift to my niece. hihihi.

  20. I got the Afrikaans translation as a 21st birthday gift some years ago :)

  21. Ygritte says...

    Best children’s book ever! It’s really famous here in Europe, so I was thrilled to see you blogging about it :)

  22. We bought it (perhaps in the same Amsterdam shop) for our niece and nephew, a few years ago. They still love it! I was a bit hestitant, but my husband is the wiser person here, or more childlike. That probably comes down to the same thing :)

  23. This was part of the curriculum I taught to my kinder students in South Korea. It always cracked me up. Another great one, Mummy Laid an Egg by Babette Cole.

  24. YES!!! This book brings back memories when i was little! My sister and I adored this book so much!!! You totally made my day!

  25. I loved this book so much. So funny!

  26. just added this to my registry. :) I would say this is just as good for little girls too! a nice accompaniment to Everyone Poops/Farts.

  27. My son loves this book!

  28. Dina says...

    Funny, I have known this book for long and yesterday (Koninginnedag) my mom bought it on the Koninginnedag Market.
    Loved your post about the bicycles too. I hope you liked the Netherlands!

  29. Natasha K says...

    OMG! this is too funny.. In kindergarten we all had to donate a book. I was 5 years old at the time and was so so adamant that I needed to donate this book to the school library much to the horror of my mother! who tried to convince me to change my mind multiple times..

  30. This books exists in France, i read it all the time to the kids i babysit! They love it obviously :)

  31. This was one of my sons favourite books ( he is now 14 ) I think we got it from his Australian aunt so I presumed it was an Aussie book. It still makes me laugh :-)

  32. That is funny and I’d have to check this out for our kids.

  33. I love that book! We have them in portuguese in Brazil :)

  34. Steph says...

    I don’t know if it was mentioned already, but in Australia it’s called “The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew it Was None of His Business”. I used to read it to my preschool classes when I was teaching. Fun! The kids just thought it was the funniest that the teacher would read a book about poo!!

  35. It was reviewed in Jane Magazine a long time ago. They talked about the mole having a swirly poo on his head, and how toilets in certain parts of Europe were essentially a hole in the ground (not researched by me). I will never forget it!

  36. I literally just laughed so hard I cried. Thanks for that :) And I need a copy of this book.

  37. Anonymous says...

    I have this book in the ‘plop up’ edition. You pull tabs to make the animals poop. It is amazing!

  38. THAT is SOOOO FUNNY! Wow…I don’t know if that is extremely creative or disturbing! LOL!

  39. We have it in portuguese and I usually offer it to my daughters’ friends for birthdays! :)
    Just love it!

  40. We have this book, too! My husband bought it before we even met, while living in Norway. Hilarious.

  41. dodobo says...

    It’s not an English, it is a German book. The illustrator is quite famous in Germany and really supergood. His collage influenced work is superb and he did loads of other good stuff – my mom gives me his annual calendar for Christmas every year and I am neither 13, nor 20, no, not even 30, to be honest I am turning 49 this year ;-)

  42. My 6th grade teacher read this to our class once and we were all definitely amused. Grew up in California so I didn’t even know it wasn’t a common English book!

  43. Yeah, the best part is that it’s considered a classic! Too funny!!

  44. Oh my goodness! HILARIOUS!!! How awesome is this book? Too awesome, that’s how awesome.

  45. This book helped me learn Dutch when I first arrived in the Netherlands — my little nephew wanted me to read it again! and again! and again!

  46. This book seems to be in nearly every child’s bookshelf in new Zealand. Another one to check out is called Poo Bum by Stephanie Blake

  47. Suzanne Neilen says...

    I’m dutch and this was my favorite childhood book. I used to pick this book all the time. My parents got sick of all the poop at some point.

    It’s really funny to see a dutch book on your blog! Did you have fun in Amsterdam. It’s a shame you didn’t stay until avril 30. Thats Queensday en the best day of all year in the Netherlands.

  48. I just bought it online (in English)! It’s available on amazon.co.uk also :) I don’t have kids or anything but I love books and they are great gifts to give or receive!!

  49. so cute! i love how he’s running around in a huff with the turd in tact on his head the entire time questioning people.

    soudavones.blogspot.com

  50. Anonymous says...

    Oh,

    I have never seen as perfect blog as your! You are lovely! This year I used to visit children in a kindergarten and they wanted to hear this story:). Have you ever read about stories about a little mole from the Czech Republic? I am from the Czechc Republic, but I know many people, that read it to their children, eventhough they are teenagers and live abroad…You love it:)

  51. Kirsten says...

    Over a decade ago, while living in Zurich, I bought this book for my daughter. On a flight back to California, I repeatedly told her the story and she laughed incessantly with pleas to read it again. However, I had no idea it was a classic in so many different languages.

  52. We have it in the English version. It even came with a plushie of the mole complete with, you got it, poop on his head! I have two girls so while somewhat curious, it was never a bona fide hit in our house.

  53. One of my favourits when I was younger!! (I’m a dutch 27year old married woman now) And it’s still one of my favourits! Specially how they discribe the sounds of the different poops… The cow poop was my ‘favourite’ hahahaha

  54. Marianne Eee says...

    My son loves it! Just got a new edition where you can push buttons and hear the farts as well, ha ha.

  55. Oh, I should mention that this was in New Zealand. I never had trouble finding it in stores there.

  56. This was one of our best buys as a baby gift for some hip relaxed parents we know. Then we showed it to a slightly less relaxed relative when they were expecting their first and I would say appalled is a pretty accurate description of their reaction.
    I think it’s the current generation’s “Are You My Mother”.

  57. Anna says...

    I read this book too! It was so funny!

  58. This was my niece’s favorite book for such a long time! :D

  59. my sister got this book for my son, probably two years ago now. of course, since it’s not about trucks (or buses, or airplanes, or spaceships), it didn’t have quite as much traction as some of his other books. still, i found it quite amusing. :)
    i picked out i want my hat back (by Jon Klassen) for my son for his third birthday because i started laughing out loud when i read it in the bookstore. and my parents got him monsters eat whiny children by Bruce Eric Kaplan which is also hilarious (mostly for parents).

  60. Anonymous says...

    I’m from Amsterdam myself, so it’s so funny that you went there! Did you experience queensday?

  61. Most kids in Denmark have this book and love it. And what is even better is that it now comes in a pop-up book version. Can you imagine? You can also get a little teddybear version of the mole complete with the you-know-what on top.

  62. Hahahaha you’ve totally brought me back. I used to read this book when I was really small haha wow! Thanks for sharing!! I hope you enjoyed Amsterdam in all its glory :) Have a great week!
    xx
    Emy

    http://emykoster.com/

  63. Dear Cup of Jo…
    I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award, as a blog that inspires me more and more every day… Thank you and Congratulations!
    Please, visit Tutus&Tea where you can see a list of fellow nominees as well as the rules of this blog award!

  64. Oh my gosh, how cute!

  65. Haha it’s true! I grew up/ am growing up in London, and my brother got it for his birthday one year from a family friend. It’s one baby book that we’ll never throw away, it’s a sure fire way to get children laughing when I babysit!

  66. This is hilarious! Definitely something my Family would find amusing. :)

    Eat Cake

  67. Anonymous says...

    Actually, the authors are german! haha!

    Henrike from Hamburg, Germany

  68. Anonymous says...

    i love this, too.

    look, this is the german-youtube-version of it:

    http://youtu.be/FBe1KgrRYmU

    :-)

    Sunny greetings from Hamburg, Germany,
    Henrike

  69. Is that book not known in the USA?

    I was addicted to this book when I was a little girl… I ask my mum to borrow it at the libary so often, that she finally bought it for me ;)

  70. Anna says...

    It’s a classical :) You know, the Dutch just like to talk about “poop”, so typical :)

  71. I must get this for my German professor! What an insanely strange book!

  72. that’s brilliant! love it in german!

  73. Gross–and so funny! I can’t wait to buy a copy for the babies I know!

  74. Jojo Humes Brown says...

    I had to rush upstairs to find my copy….it was from 1999 and was called The Story of the Little Mole who Knew it was None of his Business. I used to read it to my little Girl B(who is now a big girl of 22) Such happy memories, thanks for the reminder. Will now read it my little little one Teddy who at 3 may enjoy it as much as your Toby….Jojo

  75. C. says...

    This was one of my absolute favorites when I was a child – almost every kid I know has grown up with it, so it seems so strange, that some countries haven’t even heard of it before (I’m from Denmark)! You should definitely get it in English for Toby! He will probably enjoy it and remember it fondly. :-)

  76. Ohh MY GOSH. How hilarious!! This might beat my favorite childhood caterpillar book.

  77. isn’t it the best book ever haha kids here in Austria love it.

  78. Just today I went to my favourite bookshop here in Prague they had a pile of them on the counter, it seems it’s very popular in Czech Republic too. I bought another book for my kid, which is also too young to get it… but we should start potty training soon enough and it could be useful… what do you think?

  79. never heard of this story! very very funny and unique for a children’s book!

  80. . says...

    this might be the greatest thing of all time. ALL TIME.

  81. Ines says...

    I discovered it this year, when my 3YO brought it from school!!!
    I was SO surprised when I first saw it! After reading it you can see how hilarious it is and how “serious”, the mole going about sizes and shapes of poop quite angry!!! ;DD
    BTW we live in Lisbon, Portugal and I guess it is widely available in Europe.

  82. I’m shocked how many people know it! I was just as clueless as you when I saw it, Joanna, but it *is* hilarious. Ryan was like, “Wait, what is this about?!”

  83. hahaha that is so random. i bet the boys will LOVE it.

  84. that’s hilarious! i have a substantial mole on top of my lips, sort of my identity mole, but kids always ask if something pooped on my face… :(

  85. Even though I already saw it on Saturday, this might be my favorite thing on the internet today. But I’ve always been a bit of a sucker for poop jokes.

  86. amazing! you can just read your own story in English-my mum used to do that with spanish books when I was little…she would read Barbie (!) in both spanish and english to me.

  87. LOL little kid poop books are SO funny at any age!

  88. Annie G says...

    Yes! The best book for kids! But rarely mentioned. I read it with my own kids when they were small and it was always popular. What’s not to like? Poo, irate mole, injustice.

  89. That is too funny! I’ve never heard of it! My soon-to-be younger brother-in-law (age 6) would love this! What a fun and hilarious find!

    Katie

  90. as a former babysitter, i can tell you that the mole has a fan club in little kids who like to giggle (at poop, in this case). i’m sure toby will LOVE it. :)

  91. I laughed so hard just reading the description for this. I will have to pick up an English copy for my nephew, stat. So hilariously great!

  92. I love this book! I brought it back to my brother when I went to Prague few years ago (he was only 12, way too old already but how could I resist?) and since then every time one of us visit another country we bring it back. He has it in French, English, Spanish, Norwegian, Dutch and Portuguese (work in progress, obv!)

  93. I think I don`t know any children who haven`t had this book… : ) my nephews an niece love it! (I`m from Austria)

  94. I have never heard of it but Wolf Erlbuch is quite a famous illustrator. But it looks like a funny book and maybe typical Dutch. They once had a show for children and the presentator would ask the children “Who likes to eat a bread of poo” (in dutch: wie heeft er zin in een broodje poep by Ome Willem) And all the children would start screaming Me me me! Hilarous if you look at it back.

    https://www.etsy.com/people/MissMarjolein

  95. I had it also when I was a child, and I still love it :) I know my mom kept it and I’ll sure read it over to my kids when I have some! I’m from France, by the way.

  96. That was one of my favorite books when I was little – I always thought the poop looked like a quaint little hat.

  97. this is so funny! aren’t children’s books the best? i think that will be one of my favorite parts about someday becoming a mom – being able to read them books like this that will make them and myself giggle over and over. :)